There is untapped power in praise and thanksgiving that belongs to you! This Thanksgiving, serve up a hearty portion of praise and thanksgiving!
We are so blessed in the United States to have Thanksgiving as a national observance to thank God and honor Him for all He has given us. It’s a time to stop the hustle, bustle and busyness of life to be grateful for our freedoms, family, friends and abundant life. What most people don’t know is that a thankful and grateful heart isn’t just a nice experience to have or a desirable attitude—there is spiritual power in praise and thanksgiving.
As Christians, we are called to unleash the power of praise and thanksgiving every day of the year. What power? The power to defeat the devil and unlock victory! Most people think praise is what you do after you get what you’re believing or praying for, but that isn’t true.
Andrew Wommack says, “Praise isn’t like the caboose that just follows what happens, but it’s more like the engine of a train that makes things happen.”
Kenneth Copeland says, “Praise is the big gun of faith.”
The devil wants to keep you from thinking about praise and thanksgiving while you’re in the process of believing, because he knows it’s an important key to breakthrough. Remember when Paul and Silas were locked up in the bowels of a prison? Things looked pretty grim. Most people would be begging and pleading with God to get them out, or considering all the ways they’d served Him and wondering how they could possibly deserve what was happening.
Instead, Paul and Silas “were praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25, NIV). The result? “All the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” (verse 26). All the doors. Every chain. All because of praise and thanksgiving to God.
Do you need a breakthrough? A prison door opened? Chains to come loose? When you learn what can be accomplished in the spirit realm, you will want to activate the power of praise and thanksgiving in your life every day. Unleash the power of praise and thanksgiving with these truths.
1. Praise and Thanksgiving Balance the Scale
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” –Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Notice that Philippians 4:6 says we are to present our requests to God “by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving.” Quite often, we can get so wrapped up in our needs and desires that our prayers can end up sounding like a long list of what we don’t have, what we want and what we need, without much time spent praising the One whom we are petitioning. There’s nothing wrong with asking for God’s help, but we should also be taking the time to thank God for everything He has done and is doing for us. Praise and thanksgiving balance the scale in our prayer lives and can mean the difference between receiving and going without.
Kenneth Hagin once shared a testimony that illustrates this point quite well. He told of a missionary who had contracted smallpox before there was a vaccine. In fact, at that time, it was quite often fatal. This missionary began praying to the Lord regarding her sickness, when the Lord gave her a vision of an old-fashioned balance scale. One side was labeled “Prayer” and the other “Praise.” She noticed in the vision that the “Prayer” side was stacked up high, while the “Praise” side had just a small stack, causing that side to sit way up high—the scale was out of balance.
The Lord spoke to her and said, “When your praises equal your prayers, you will be healed.” She spent two days doing nothing but praising God—she had to get caught up! And during this time, she didn’t ask God for anything—she simply praised Him. At the end of those two days, she was completely healed. That’s the power of praise and thanksgiving!
Do your praises equal your prayers? Is your scale balanced? Don’t wait to offer praise and thanksgiving to God until things are just as you like them to be—praise Him in every situation,. Praise Him for who He is and what He’s done in your life. Praise Him that you’re saved, delivered, healed and headed for heaven. Praise Him as your Creator, Restorer, Friend, Counselor, Comforter and Strong Tower. There is so much to be thankful for! Take time to thank Him each and every day. Then, watch as power is released into your circumstances in a way that scared and begging prayers can never accomplish.
Watch Kenneth and Gloria Copeland teach you how to overcome stress and anxiety with praise!
2. Praise and Thanksgiving Neutralize the Devil
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” –1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)
Ever wonder why the devil tries to get you to complain and grumble? He knows it is a strength sapper, a faith drainer and a dream killer. He knows it will keep you wandering around in the wilderness for 40 years, instead of arriving in your promised land in 11 days. (No, thank you!) More importantly, he doesn’t want you to know this: Praise and thanksgiving neutralize the devil. They are like kryptonite to him.
Praise and thanksgiving are powerful spiritual weapons that come from highly developed faith, and they are often the final step before receiving from God. They are sure signs that you have faith in His Word, have eradicated all unbelief, and have fixed your mind solely on His Word. That’s a powerful place to be!
Looking for something to read at the Thanksgiving table? Find 17 Scriptures for Thanksgiving Day here.
Bill Winston says, “Praise is much more than just music; it is a powerful, spiritual warfare tool. God never meant for you to fight your battles alone—Praise will shift the battle from you to God. Praise gives you strength and stops Satan in his tracks.”
How do praise and thanksgiving give you strength? They build your faith and keep you thinking right. When you slip into wrong thinking, Satan can gain access to your life. Praise and thanksgiving are vital weapons in your warfare against Satan and his forces.
So, when you’re standing in faith and things start to look opposite of what you’re believing for, keep the praise of God on your lips. Continue to praise Him for the answer. Don’t be moved by circumstances; just keep your eyes on God’s Word; and praise and thank Him that the mountain in front of you is moved. Praise and thanksgiving will always send the devil packing!
Even physical weariness has to flee when it’s faced with real joy-filled praise. Years ago, when Gloria Copeland first began conducting Healing School, she had a real battle with fatigue. She’d minister and lay hands on the sick for so many hours at a time that by the time the meeting had ended, she was sometimes too physically weak even to close the service.
In one particular meeting, she had just finished praying for those in the prayer line, and as usual, she was exhausted. The Spirit of the Lord impressed on her that, instead of resting, what she needed was to rejoice in the Lord. So, she did. She began to praise the Lord with her whole heart, mind and body. Do you know what happened? The tiredness left. And she was energized with the presence of God!
The next time the devil tries to stifle your effectiveness, to drain you of the strength and wealth and victory that are yours in Jesus, turn him back with those powerful weapons. Lift your hands, your voice and your whole heart to God. Give Him praise and thanksgiving!
Find out how the power of worship is directly related to healing in this teaching with Kenneth Copeland.
You ought to be shouting your way to work and shouting your way back home! If there’s anything the devil can’t stand, it’s praise. If you’ve taken territory from the devil and he’s coming against you to get it back, this is not the time to sit down and whine about how things aren’t working out. It’s not the time to decide that God has taken His hand off your life.
It IS time to get into the Word and get yourself re-anchored in God’s promises. It’s time to keep those promises constantly before your eyes and in your heart. It’s time to pray the prayer of faith and take your stand on the basis of His provision. It is time to continue to do the things you know to do.
When Satan starts shaking your mountain, don’t retreat and run for cover. Speak to the mountain with the authority you have in the Name of Jesus Christ. Then, when you’re done with that, start to praise and shout the victory!
3. Praise and Thanksgiving Bring God on the Scene
But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].–Psalm 22:3 (AMPC)
Do you ever feel like you really need God to show up? You’ve been fighting the good fight, but boy, are you getting tired! That’s OK—but giving up is not. God never loses a battle. And when you do things His way, you won’t either.
So, what should you do? Start praising. Praise when you don’t feel like it and keep praising because praise and thanksgiving bring God on the scene. He inhabits the praises of His people!
You can praise your way to healing, praise your way to a financial breakthrough, praise your way out of an unwarranted assault on your character. When there is trouble—praise and thanksgiving bring victory!
You can see an example of that in 2 Chronicles 20 where a multitude of forces was marching against Israel, leaving the army of Israel so outnumbered, they literally didn’t know what to do. So, they fasted and prayed until they received a word from God. “Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (verse 15, Amplified Bible, Classic Edition).
Do you know what they did in response to that word? They put together a praise choir! That’s right. They appointed singers and praisers, and sent them out in front of the army! And when that choir began to sing, the Word tells us that “the Lord set ambushments against the men…who had come against Judah, and they were [self-] slaughtered” (verse 22).
When it was all over, not one Israelite had fallen—and not one of their enemies had escaped. What’s more, when they came to take the spoil, they found so many cattle, goods, garments and other precious things, it took them three whole days to haul it all home.
Now, that’s victory! And it all began with praise. Are you looking for that kind of victory today? Then stand up and shout, “Glory!” After all, you’re in the same situation those Israelites were. You have an army marching against you, but Jesus has already defeated it. He won that battle for you on Resurrection morning.
That is the kind of power you can have right now in your life. If you are not familiar with praising God, or it makes you feel uncomfortable, ask God to show you how. You can start by reading the Psalms aloud. They speak of the great and mighty works of God. They praise Him for His goodness, power and mercy. God is faithful to perfect your praises!
Praise is not something you do when things are rosy. God is always worthy of your praise. The Bible says to offer the sacrifice of praise—that means when it feels like a tough thing to give. More importantly, praise and thanksgiving are more than a pleasant song or a few uplifting words about God. They do something. They release the very presence of God Himself. And when the presence of God comes on the scene, your enemies are turned back. Sickness and disease can’t stay on your body. Poverty can’t stay in your house.
So, when you pray, “enter into his gates WITH THANKSGIVING, and into his courts WITH PRAISE: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4, KJV). Praise and thanksgiving are integral parts of prayer. They are you and God working together—your prayer and His power. You can pray amiss, but you can’t praise amiss.
Praise God. Praise Him in the morning. Praise Him at noon. Praise Him at night. If you’ve never praised God in your life, then get started right now. Praise Him for freedom. Praise Him for healing and Calvary. Praise Him for the Name of Jesus.
You’ll even find that when you have a need, if you go to God and simply praise Him, you’ll get your answers while you’re thanking Him! That’s why Philippians 4:6 tells us to mix thanksgiving in with our prayers. There are so many reasons to praise the Lord!
Now that you know how to unleash the power of praise and thanksgiving, you can take these truths and put them in remembrance as you pray and engage in spiritual warfare. Never underestimate the importance of praise. It’s one of the most powerful spiritual weapons you have!
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